Hidden treasures – Alwar

Travel rejuvenates.. Travel is cathartic .. Travel is bliss!!

After a busy week at work and at home, we always look forward to an exciting weekend. Not always is it possible to plan a weekend getaway but the times that we do , we have hit bulls’s eye! One such weekend was when we decided to go to the historical district of Alwar in Rajasthan.

Alwar is located 125kms from Gurgaon and can be reached via the Alwar-Bhiwadi road. Alwar contains many historical monuments and is a great choice for a weekend getaway or even a day trip

Our first stop at Alwar was the beautiful Bala Quila. Bala Quila also known as Alwar fort  is situated on a hill above the town of Alwar. All doors to the fort are majectic and are made of solid wrought iron and they still stand strong!!

IMG_0553Major portions of the fort are closed for maintenance purposes. Only the courtyard and an area which served as the Dewan – e- Aam and the Dewan -e-Khaz are open to the public. A short trek from the side of the main fort leads to a beautiful viewpoint -which gives a lovely panoramic view of the entire city of Alwar.

IMG_0563The trek is about 2 kms long and extremely rugged given that there is no specific path. One of the oldest trees which is said to have been planted by the First king himself still stands tall!

IMG_0568From the Bala Qila we headed to the Vinay Vilas Palace also known as the City Palace. It was built  by Raja Bakhtayar Singh. The Palace boasts of a magnificent blend of the Mughal and Rajput architecture and culture. The colossal gates and the huge towers will definitely leave you spellbound. However, it is very disappointing to see the poor maintenance of such heritage sites both from the side of the government and public.IMG_0596The once gleaming floors and walls of the royal palace are now stained and has graffiti all over.The beautiful lake which once contained crytal clear water is now filled with filth.

A lot of the palace is now occupied by government offices and the upper part houses a museum. The  museum contains a number of paintings and objects made of jade, ivory and silver. A pair of ivory slippers and a huge silver dining table with its legs shaped like a lion’s feet will actually give you an insight into royalty.

Just outside the main palace of Alwar in Rajasthan, with the Aravalli hills in the backdrop, a beautiful structure – Moonsi Maharani ki Chatri catches your eye. This structure was made in honour of the queen Rani Moonsi who committed ‘sati’. The structure is a spectacle, the lower half is made of red sandstone and the upper half is made of marble.

IMG_0582The carvings, the intricate work and the architecture is beyond describable. It certainly makes you feel a sense of pride about the culture and heritage of our country.

IMG_0607After a culturally soaked trip , we headed back to Gurgaon feeling happy and satisfied about our decision to visit Alwar!

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